Roasted honey red stretch

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Song

This is dedicated to the same friend as below.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Grief settles into your belly, with a dull ache, located somewhere below your heart and above your stomach. It takes away the appetite and dims the eyes. Makes it hard to lift your head.

It passes and fades and comes back to haunt after a certain word or situation. This could be sparked by seeing something that the beloved would have enjoyed, or laughed at. Something that should be shared with them....but cannot.

It fades again, and dims and you make a decision to go on. If you are really a healthy emotional animal, you choose to function, and move on, mechanically at first. Later, as you process your grief, over time, you begin to direct your thoughts into new channels and eventually look doggedly into the face of what happened and defy it to kill you. You start to force yourself to think in new directions, but make no plans, and take no prisoners. This is the path out. Push forward, look to God and cling to Him. He will carry you when you cannot walk.

Psalm 34 ~~Those that look to Him are radiant, their faces shall never be covered with shame.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Harvesting wheat

A vivid memory for me tonight, as I approach the untimely funeral tomorrow of my favorite cousin, is riding on the wagon as the wheat was harvested. There was this tall orange metal wagon, with a chute at the bottom that the combine shot the grains of wheat into as it separated the wheat from the chaff. Nance and I would sit up on the top edge and the cool, smooth grains would come cascading down into the wagon. There was a nice grainy smell and it was fun to ride behind my gramp on this machine. We especially liked to sit on the grain when gramp pulled the chute at the bottom and ride the grain down to the chute and brace our feet against it and let the smooth cool grains slide past us.

One time grandma found out we liked to walk in the grain bin and we got a whippin' from her for getting our shoes in the grain. I think that gramp never told her about letting us ride on the wagon.

Nance and I loved to play around the farm when we visited grandma and grampa. We used to climb up into the hayloft and play house. Making the bales of hay into different furnishings, depending on which way we arranged them. Bales of hay can really look like furniture if you are ten and it is twilight dim in the loft.

Nancy was the first person in my life to call me by my most common nickname. And I called her Nance. Cuz Nance if we were really being extra cool. Her stepdaughter met me for the first time this evening at the funeral home and when she heard who I was said that her "mom" often talked about me and the troubles we used to get into. Like how grandma broke yardstick after yardstick on our behinds because we always broke the rules. If grandma said don't go past the back fence into the neighbors property(there was a nice woods back there) we did it first thing, if grandma said don't jump in the hayloft, we found a way. She was my best bud growing up, we were like peas and carrots.

Why did we never get together in recent years my cuz? I am so sorry. I will see you tomorrow for the last time, on this earth, but I will spend all the masses for the rest of my lifetime praying for the repose of your soul. May you rest soon in the arms of your Savior and receive the peace that you never found in this life, my Nance.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Seed Parable

Today's gospel reading is the parable of the sower and the seed. Of course this is a very familiar parable, and a favorite of a friend of mine. But today i saw it in a new light.

Here is an excerpt, from Jesus summation of the story:

"The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.” "--Luke 8

What really struck me today was the final sentence ...the ones who...embrace it with a generous and good heart and bear fruit through perseverance.

I just had a sad conversation with a person that I care about a lot, who told me that she has ruined her life with her choices recently. I encouraged her by saying that Jesus will always take you back in His loving arms, no matter what you have done. Her sad response was "that doesn't work for me".

She had recently went through a phase where she was gung ho for Jesus this past spring. She seems to go through this every now and then in her life--try out the Christian life for a bit and then something happens... I don't know what, and she falls away. I don't know exactly what are the ingredients that help some people push through all that happens in life and still cling to God with all their might and the ones who do not. If I did I would bottle it and give it away for free!

I accepted Jesus over 32 years ago, and have been clinging to Him tightly ever since. There have, of course been times that I have had a wanderlust, but they don't ever get a real grip on me. Its like the value of knowing and walking with Jesus for me is beyond anything else in this life. And the more I get to know Him the more valuable He becomes to me.

Perhaps my friend has never been wholly convinced that Jesus really really loves and forgives her completely, from tip to toe. Perhaps she just does not have the eyes to see the love and forgiveness in His eyes for her.

I wish I knew.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Economy

It's obvious to me that the problems with the economy stem from 9/11/01.

I worked in the Home Improvement industry, and busness was just starting to roll that fall, and that day started out with promise. As the events unfolded on that day the store went dead. And the Fall Home Improvement Season never re-started that year.

The terrorists wanted to hurt us, as badly as possible, and the reverberations have been rippling outward ever since.

The following February we were just on the cusp of the Spring Home Improvement season and it looked promising again, as many people were feeling like they could resume thier lives from the fall.

Then we went to war in Afganistan. People held thier breath. We earnestly wanted to capture Bin Laden in that opening wave of fighting. The spring season was bitten with sober thought. Not as bad as 9/11 but still dampened.

On the national scene, travel and tourism industries had been gravely harmed by the terrorists and that was having its own ripple. As we have ground along, it seems to me that the ripples of 9/11 continue to hurt our economy, the fear and mistrust and divisiveness only stirred and made worse by politicians who undermine all that we are working towards with blaming and divisiveness.

All of the above has also been grievously exacerbated by the liberal media in conjunction with Hollywood who whittle away at our feelings of security and respect for our leaders.

When I was young, A president was respected and behaved respectfully just because he was the President, regardless of who voted for or against him. If we had been supportive of our president after 9/11 and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and worked together to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem we would all be better off and more secure now.

Lets elect an honorable Military man for President and a hard working, sensible Christian lady for Vice President!

The Big Mac